Sorrows and Celebrations
The party travels through the rain to the Tree of Sorrows on the Firstday of the new week. On the way Zale receives a magical message requesting that the group report to the Lady Regent herself at Raniel Manor at their earliest convenience.
By the time they arrive at the Tree, they are in a torrential downpour and the clearing around the tree is a muddy ruin. The tree itself looks to be dead, its gargantuan form reaching up like an evil claw grasping at the sky. Zale notes that this place is certainly a source of the land.
As the storm rages the group spots a ghoul standing at the base of the tree. It charges across the clearing, but never even gets close as Thurenz incinerates the creature in a blast of fire.
The band of heroes picks their way through the mud and to the base of the ancient dead oak. Thurenz elven ears pick up a faint chanting coming from high up in the tree. As they arrive near the tree, the bones at their feet animate and the skeletons of long dead elves attack.
Thurenz and Zale destroy and trap several with their spells and Athar and Porter go toe to toe with the undead. However, it is Victor who truly shines in this moment. Calling upon the power of Haelyn he turns almost all the remaining creatures to dust.
For a brief moment all is silent but for the sound of the rain. The silence is broken as lighting crashes and the ground begins to shake. The tree breaks and out from within it comes a gargantuan fiendish giant centipede. The massive creature is almost as long as the tree is tall. It roars and moves to devour the heroes.
The heroes have other ideas. Calling upon the divine power within their blood, Victor and Zale each summon an elemental to intercept the beast, Victor’s is a being of air, Zale’s is of earth.
Athar also summons the power of his blood, but for a very different effect. Athar in an amazingly brave and incredibly dangerous move, dimension doors directly above the creature and drops down onto it’s back.
Thurenz also summons a creature to help with the fight, a dire badger who savagely attacks the centipede.
The beast is not able to withstand the onslaught of the summoned creatures and eventually succumbs to their attacks, but not before it viciously wounds Athar, poisons him, and flings him twenty feet into the mud. After the centipede falls, a shadow attacks Thurenz from out of the boughs of the old tree. Two elves, Fianor and Elenyë show up in just enough time to help put down the shadow.
The band of adventures, this time with an invitation, return to Bein Asëa to heal and recover. They meet Celebor the village elder. After the adventurers him a report on what had transpired at the Tree of Sorrows, Celebor reveals to them the grand illusion of Bein Asëa, which hides the tiny village from view. He welcomes them in and gives them a place to rest and a gift a large emerald each.
Before they part ways, Celebor notices The Glimmering Sword, which Porter is carrying it on his back. He asks to see the sword and becomes obviously emotional holding it in his hand. He returns it to Porter and tells the group that he had in fact been the maker of the sword. It was a sword he had created for his own son, who had died fighting when Coeranys was first forged.
The group rests, and after speaking with Porter about the matter, Zale again speaks with Celebor concerning the sword. He lets Celebor know that they will speak with their Lord concerning the sword and see if it can be returned to Celebor. Celebor is thankful.
The adventures leave Bein Asëa and head to Doyle Manor. They arrive to find that Jack has been elevated to House Keeper and was left in charge. A great harvest festival and tournament would take place at Raniel Manor and Sir Boros has gone to participate in the tourney.
The group gather up their horses from Marrion and set out for Raniel Manor.
They arrive in Raniel to discover a tent city had sprung up around the grounds of the manor, and the manor itself was over-flowing with guests. The group clean themselves up and then are invited to attend the Lady Regent. Eluvie Carielle, Count Amarante Raniel, and the wizard Colgrevance Raniel are awaiting them in Amarante’s apartments. Also in attendance are The River Knight, Sir Cauis Coerleau, and Amarante’s daughter, Reyanne Raniel. Amarante introduces the group to the ruler of Coeranys and then they tell her of their exploits to date. She listens intently. But when they ask to pursue the lead concerning the Source of the old tree, which seems to point at The Three Brothers Mages, she refuses them. Instead she asks Colgrevance to discretely look further into that matter, since it may have political ramifications.
Zale takes the opportunity to tell the Regent about the sword and Celebor and that the group would like to see it gifted to him. She questions the group’s elf, Thurenz, about The Elves of the Mist and the strength of their loyalty. She does not seem entirely pleased by his answer. She agrees to Victor’s suggestion. “The Elves may receive this sword as a gift from their Baron, so long as he may call upon it in time of need.”
She dismisses the heroes and invites them to stay for the celebration and tournament.
The group uses the next few days to brush up on their various skills and each of them level up during the course of that time.
The tourney is a fast, fun, and furious affair. Several of the heroes participate in several events. Athlar Thelal distinguishes himself amongst the group. He makes it to the semi-finals in the sword and wins the bow. Several NPC’s stand out in the lists including Sir Cauis Corleau, Sir Boros Brightwater, Sir Randall Penn, and Count Kay Kilamark, the ruler of Mistil.
Two big surprises were revealed during the tournament. First, one of the participants, Michael Silverstone, turned out to be none other than the young Baron Alun Coeran. Second and more importantly, the engagement of Baron Alun Coeran and Reyanne Raniel was announced.
During the festivities two other interesting events occur. The party catches a young girl, who was pretending to be a boy and who cleanly picked Porter’s pocket. But she was spotted by other members of the group and spotted hiding nearby. The wizards decide to hold her in their tower until the next morning when a magistrate or the Lord can deal with the issue. They use a powerful illusion to scare her and make her too scared to try and escape. The girl says her name was Rose.
The magistrate is none other than Victor’s father, Sir Raphael Raniel. He also appears to be the one running the festival and tourney from behind the scenes. Porter requests that the girl be put into indentured servitude to pay for her crime and Raphael agrees. He draws up a document for the thief’s sentence giving a description of the girl and her crimes, but leaving the name blank since it is still unknown. He gives her into Porter’s care and asks that she be delivered to Doyle Manor since they will be in need of help.
Porter is also invited to the pavilion of Count Kay Kilamark. Kay it seems has taken an interest in Porter and Ward and he invites them to both be guests at his wedding in one month’s time.